UK Regulators Urge Airlines to Treat Passengers Better When Flights Canceled

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), as well as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), have urged airlines to treat passengers better amid ongoing flight cancellations, pointing out that passengers could suffer significant damages if airlines do not fulfill their obligations.

We recognize that some airlines have performed better than others, and we acknowledge and welcome some recent improvements, for example, flight cancellations being announced earlier. However, we are concerned that consumers could experience significant harm unless airlines meet their obligations and minimize flight disruptions throughout the summer and beyond,” the letter reads, reports.

They also noted that the main priority is to ensure that consumers are protected and that businesses also adhere to the law for consumer protection.

According to the CMA and CAA, airlines must take action to ensure customers have a positive experience.

In addition, consumers should be kept informed of the status of their flights and be aware of their rights so that they can evaluate those options well in advance of travel.

The regulators also explain that when flights are cancelled, consumers must be supported and their rights preserved to ensure they get the best outcomes.

The CMA and CAA have expressed their concern that some airlines were not doing enough to avoid engaging in one or more harmful practices.

These include selling more flight tickets, not always “full compliance” to offer flights on alternative airlines to passengers affected by cancellations, and failing to provide consumers with “sufficiently clear and advance information about their rights.”

The letter said that the CMA and CAA will continue to monitor the airlines and why they share enforcement powers to protect consumers. However, this comes after airlines continue to cancel flights while adding tens of thousands that have already been canceled in recent months.

Considering this situation, one of the main reasons is the lack of staff. Many aviation workers were let go during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, while travel was limited.

However, the return to normal summer demand appears to have caught some industry leaders by surprise, and many scramble to recruit screen and train workers quickly enough.

In addition, passengers are left paying the price, with long queues, problems with luggage, delays, and flight cancellations.

According to the CMA and CAA, airlines should not continue marketing tickets for flights unless they can be reasonably confident that they will continue.

Together the CMA and CAA have urged airlines operating this practice to quickly put mechanisms in place for these customers to ensure that rerouting is a viable option for them.

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